The biomedical sector in Oklahoma City, which includes a cluster of operations in and around the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park and the OU Health Sciences Center, has a fairly significant profile, Rhines said.
“But probably what's lost on the majority of the state is the prominence of the other side of the life scientist, which would be the agriculture side,” Rhines said. Another cluster of research organizations, including the Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Oklahoma State University and regional colleges, is doing significant work and providing good jobs, he said.
The Oklahoma Bioscience Institute will focus on the entire spectrum of life sciences, sharing with the public the importance of those efforts to the state's economy and the jobs they spawn, Rhines said.
The institute also seeks to encourage young Oklahomans to consider biosciences as a career through its education efforts, Rhines said.
The Oklahoma Bioscience Institute will work with Oklahoma educators and bioscience executives to develop programming relevant to the needs of the industry. It will also draw on expertise of similar organizations across the country through its affiliation with the new national Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes.